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By Jack McCall

On the subject of water, it can safely be said that most of us don’t drink enough. Oh, the general population drinks enough liquids. The list is endless: colas, diet sodas, coffee, tea, Kool-Aid, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, and sports drinks. But few of us consume enough of good old, pure, crystal clear water.

I remember all the way back to health class in the seventh grade that humans are supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day for good health – eight glasses. That is, mind you, eight 8-ounce glasses, or 64 ounces of water. Best I can figure, that is a half-gallon. That’s a lot of water.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

I once drank a half-gallon of water in a very short period of time. As a matter of fact, I did it twice.

When I turned 50 years old a few years back, my doctor recommended that I have a colonoscopy as a part of a routine medical exam. It is a procedure whose purpose is to detect the earliest stages of colon cancer. You’ve heard the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” If something bad is coming my way, I want to know as early as possible.

In preparation for the colonoscopy, the doctor wrote two prescriptions. One called for a 10 oz. bottle of magnesium citrate (commonly called mag-citrate.) It came in a green glass bottle. The contents kind of tasted like 7-UP, only not as sweet. The directions specified that I drink the entire contents of the bottle BEFORE going to bed in the evening. I did.

The second prescription consisted of a one-gallon plastic jug (much like a milk jug) that contained a small amount of white power. The directions read: “Fill container with drinking water, shake vigorously, and refrigerate overnight.” I did that, too.

The directions further specified that I drink half the contents of the jug (64 oz.) within a one-hour time frame on the next morning. I decided on 16 ounces every 15 minutes. Actually, I downed it in 45 minutes. It was very cold and tasted of salt. Following the directions, I drank the other half of the jug’s contents in the afternoon within the one-hour time limit.

I choose to refrain from disclosing the outcome of that little exercise by simply saying if I had known then what I know now, I would have strapped on my running shoes before drinking that first 64 ounces.

But I can truthfully say I have, indeed consumed 64 oz. of “water” in less than an hour, although I would not recommend it. If one is going to drink that much water, I would suggest four 16-ounce glasses spread over a day’s time. Better yet, how about eight 8-ounce glasses spread out over an eight-hour day? Now, that seems even more doable.

There is a word that has been popularized in recent years by a small number of pharmaceutical companies, which promote, ad nauseam, a treatment for a condition in men called BPH. The word is “going.” It seems men, as they age, are always “going.” “Going” too often, “going” at night – “going,” “going, “going.”

Well, if you, male or female, drink that much water in a day’s time, you are going to be “going” a lot. So prepare yourself.

I would suggest finding a rest room facility at least 330 feet from wherever you spend most of your time. Each hour, as you drink your 8 ounces of water, you can walk there and back. At the end of an eight-hour day you will have walked 5,280 feet or one mile. Just think of the heath benefits.

And, of course, there are countless other benefits to be derived from drinking that much water. I just have a hard time drinking it on a consistent basis.

For the last couple of years, I have been starting the day with a big glass of water to which I have added a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of honey. The vinegar offers all kinds of health benefits, as does the honey. Plus, the honey makes the vinegar go down easier. But I am beginning to grow weary of the concoction.

Lately, I have been tricking myself by placing ice cubes in a big glass, filling it with cold water and pretending I am back in my boyhood days.

I imagine I am in a hayfield or tobacco patch enduring the sweltering heat of summer. Talk about being thirsty! That was a time when ice-cold, make-your-head-hurt water never tasted so good.

When I get my mind right, I can down a big glass in a heartbeat. It may sound crazy, but it works for me.

I suggest you do whatever works for you.

Here’s to your good health!